Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Survivors Speaking Out - By Vicki Polin

"Pedophila has no religion". Another words this is not a Jewish, Catholic or Muslim problem. It's a human problem!

Survivors of sexual violence should not feel ashamed or blamed for what happened to them -- they were victimized by a criminal.

If you were walking down the street and happened to be mugged -- most people would immediately contact the local police department. You would then most likely file a complain.

Afterwards most survivors of violent crimes automatically start telling everyone they know they were mugged. There's no shame in it. The individual was victimized.

In cases of any form of sexual violence (childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, etc.), it's imperative for those who have been victimized to talk about what happened over and over again. It helps in the healing process. It should be seen in the same light as someone who was robbed at knife point.

I really honor and respect every survivor who speaks out about what happened to them. Telling your stories of being abused and/or assaulted publicly is essential to helping to end sexual crimes in every community.

I do want to urge caution though. Please talk to your therapist, friends, and trusted family members prior to do so. Make sure you are in an emotionally stable place prior to going public. Only share what you feel comfortable sharing. If people ask you questions you DO NOT feel comfortable answering, you don't have to. You have a right to keep what you want confidential.

If you want more information about speaking out, please feel free to call Vicki Polin at The Awareness Center (443) 857-5560.


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